It is important that you look closely with a keen eye for any sign of fish activity before planning your approach. Along with the promising sign of fish activity, you also want to take account of promising structure in the stream that could provide a comfortable spot for a fish to reside. Some of the structures you are looking for include deep pools, undercut banks, rocks, logs and debris that forms a break in the flow of the stream.
I have found it easier to fish steadily moving upstream because when you cast your fly or bait upstream your fly or bait naturally floats back downstream to you.
Once you have identified fish action or promising structure, it is time to make your stealthy approach. If you must hunch over or even crawl, it could be the difference between getting a strike or getting nothing at all. You will find this to be true because eventually you will spook a fish and see them dart into oblivion, leaving you scratching your head, surprised at their ability to detect you.
In picking a spot to fish a structure or fish activity, I have found that the best position for me is to be slightly downstream or perpendicular to my target. Once you have positioned yourself within casting distance but far enough away to avoid detection, it is time for the moment of truth. With fly or spin gear, gently cast your lure upstream of your target with as much room as possible between where your lure lands and your target, as to hopefully not spoke fish with an odd splash. As the lure naturally floats downstream towards you, pick up the slack line that is being created. Do not pickup the slack line too fast because this will cause your lure to move unnaturally fast. Do not pickup your slack line to slow because this will cause an increase in your reaction time if a fish does decide to strike. The perfect speed for picking up slack line is essentially the natural speed at which your lure is floating downstream.
Every environment poses different challenges, but that is part of what makes fishing so fun, right? Sometimes we hide behind rocks, creep through the bushes, crawl through the mud or take a wide loop around a particular spot just to get the right angle. Once you achieve the proper sneak attack and land one of these beautiful high mountain trout, the prize is one of nature’s many splendors. The coloring of these fish is marvelous!
Practice your sneak – if you can sneak up on your cat you are getting pretty sneaky! Once travel restrictions are lifted, give the NM Trout Challenge a try and hopefully, you will find success using some of the tips you read today.
Do you have a good memory of a catching a particularly wily fish? If so, share your story with me at